LIVIN' THE DREAM
posted on 11/03/2015 1:30:00 PM
LIVIN' THE DREAM
By Erin Leckie | Photography by Chris Oshea & Josh Galletly
James Windsor travels the world as a professional wakeboarder, hitting cable parks across the globe and making new friends with every stop… and he’s only 19 years old.
Name: James Windsor
City: Sunshine Coast
Main occupation: Professional wakeboarder on the USA Slingshot international team
“I PRETTY MUCH FELL IN LOVE WITH THE SPORT THE FIRST TIME I TRIED IT. BUT IT WAS AFTER MY FIRST COMPETITION, SIX MONTHS AFTER I STARTED WAKEBOARDING, THAT I KNEW IT WAS WHAT I WANTED TO DO AS A CAREER.”
James Windsor has been wakeboarding since the age of 13, when a school excursion took him to a cable park for the first time. From the moment his feet touched the water, James was hooked. He ended up completing a traineeship in business at his local cable park and finished Years nine and 10 - via Skype - so that he could put more time into his training.
When he was 15, after winning every Australian event that he could, James approached his parents about competing in the WWA World Wakeboarding Series. It
would be no small feat for the youngster, with six events in various locations around the world over a six-month period. But James knew all the big names and
sponsors would be there, and it would be his opportunity to showcase his talent and hopefully get noticed.
With the support of his sponsors, James managed to get a return ticket to America. The rest would be up to him.
“I remember arriving in the States and a couple of Australian riders I was going to meet up with got my arrival date mixed up, and I ended sleeping in my board bag at the cable park,” recalls James.
With virtually no travel experience, and very limited funds, James managed to place 4th and 5th in his first two events, giving him enough money to buy a plane ticket to the next round. After adjusting to the different layouts and cable systems of the overseas parks, which often had higher cables than he was used to,
James found his groove in the competition.
“By the 3rd and 4th event of the World series I had won two of the events back to back, and ended up winning the world title in Abu Dhabi, which placed me second overall in the World Series.”
“I had money stuffed everywhere in my board bag when I got off the plane, it’s a wonder I got through customs,” laughs James.
It was his first year competing in the Pro Men’s division and James had come out on top. It was an outcome he wasn’t expecting. However, he wasn’t complaining either.
“I just set out to ride my absolute best,” explained James.
“My main focus was to be signed by one of the largest board companies in the states, so I could ride and compete full-time. Winning the world title was a bonus.”
James admits that wakeboarding has changed his life ‘immensely’. Riding full-time on the USA Slingshot Team has given the youngster the opportunity to travel,
compete and film at amazing locations nine months of the year. Whether it’s competing on a specially prepared obstacle course on a half sunken-cargo ship in the
commercial port of Linz, Austria or jumping over purposely positioned 44-gallon drums, and a huge tug boat in the Liverpool dock harbour in the UK, James is just
happy that he gets to ride every day.
“I feel wakeboarding has given me the life I’ve always dreamed of having,” he admits.
In 2014 James visited more than 24 countries including Brazil, Austria, Spain and the Gulf states and says that he’s really only home in Australia for four months of the year. This is considered his ‘off-season’ and he enjoys the chance to switch his training up a bit.
“I just enjoy hanging out with my friends, surfing at my favourite spots on the Sunshine Coast, or going out in the LKI boat for the day wakeboarding.”
As long as it’s outdoors and on the water, James is in.
How does he have the energy to do it all? Well, James admits that health and fitness is one of the most important aspects of his life and helps keep him happy, physically fit and well balanced. Cardio and resistance training in the gym are both part of his routine.
“I’ve found that it’s better to do short intense workouts if you’re doing sets. It will not only stimulate your muscles; it will burn fat and build muscle. This along with
proper eating will get you results,” believes James.
And when his body gets sore from so much physical activity, which it does from time to time, James makes sure he gets more sleep, and does a yoga class to help
him relax and clear his mind. And of course, hanging out with good mates and having a laugh goes a long way to keeping James on track.
“I think being physically and mentally fit can transform your life in a pretty short space of time if you are willing to give it a go.”
It’s refreshing for someone so young, who has already experienced more than most people can dream in a lifetime, to have such a well adjusted outlook. James still
feels lucky that he is able to ride with so many other wakeboarders around the world.
“You ride with kids in places like Brazil and Asia who ride old broken boards and still kill it on the water,” he said.
“You learn to be very grateful for what you have, and this just motivates me to keep improving all the time.”
In just three short years wakeboarding competitively James has won three world titles, two Red Bull titles, and has a stash of podium finishes. But the biggest
thing he set out to achieve was to ride full-time on an international wakeboard team, so he could travel to as many cable parks as possible and ride every day,
all while making a living out of something he loves to do.
And at just 19 years old, this goal is now a reality. James is officially livin’ the dream. His one piece of advice to anyone looking to travel the world as a professional
“Don’t get your passport wet… it sticks together!"
A DAY IN THE LIFE…
Source Url: http://www.mensmuscleandhealth.com.au/PROFILES/tabid/4871/entryid/1794/livin-the-dream.aspx
-BREAKFAST: Poached eggs on wholegrain toast with a banana
-7AM: Gym, cycling or surfing
-SNACK: Fruit smoothie with low-fat milk
-9AM-12PM: Ride cable
-LUNCH: Ham and salad wrap
-3PM: Ride cable or cardio
-SNACK: Yoghurt and strawberries
-4:30PM-6PM: Ride cable
-DINNER: Grilled chicken and vegetables